Customer Engagement – Incorporating Online Education To Build Brands

AH, LUSH.

Since the first time I walked by their store in SOHO, I’ve been forever captivated by the unique combination of scents. I spend more time on their website reading about the history and therapeutic elements of Juniperberry than I do keeping myself up-to-date on the war between Google+ and Facebook (and that’s a whole lot of time for a social media robot like myself).

LUSH is a brand that truly comprehends the meaning of consumer engagement. Not only is their in-store environment welcoming, but their website offers an entire encyclopedia of scents and ingredients for us to learn about and explore:

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People spend countless dollars on the acquisition of knowledge. But here we have a brand that gives us the same info we’d get in a botany class.

They also post up-to-date educational content to keep consumers in the know:

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By providing rich material, LUSH establishes itself as an authoritative brand: consumers see them as experts within the natural skincare industry. Their website, then, becomes a legitimate source for information. From a digital marketing perspective, not only does this increase site stickiness (the average time visitors spend within the domain) but also traffic and conversion rate.

Kashi, the all natural foods brand, is another great example.  They are passionate about healthy food choices and make their website a resource to encourage such behavior,  creating a community around their brand ethos. Kashi employed an interactive recipe book, to strengthen consumer engagement while also providing endless resources that keeps them on site and engaged with the product. It also furthers their brand mission—healthy, sustainable living through all-natural food that’s also tasty.

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This brand transcends the meaning of brand recall: with tips and trends on living green, they provide consumers with information that’s applicable in everyday life by integrating tips into their daily routine.

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The Kashi website is one that warrants repeat visits.  They’ve got articles on organic gardening, eco-friendly fabrics, and delicious, natural recipes that grasp consumers’ attention—from a blueberry tart with walnut crust to smoked trout on endive leaves.  It’s not simply about selling you their product; it’s about selling you a lifestyle, and a buy-in through the community.

So what can we learn from these two great brands?

One of the most important things I’ve learned as an online marketer at Imagemme is the power of creating value for our clients’ consumers: through interactive experiences, offering them something they need but can’t find elsewhere.

IT’S INTERESTING HOW A BRAND CAN BE BUILT THROUGH OFFERING INSIGHT FOR CONSUMER BENEFIT WITHOUT ASKING FOR ANYTHING IN RETURN.

Consumers want to know that you understand their lifestyles, not that you are simply trying to sell them a product.  Online resources and interactive features ensure that you do get some of that much sought after mind share, but that you are also putting forth a useful experience, anticipating consumer needs, and in some way making their lives easier.

Knowledge is one of the most valuable things to have, and it isn’t accessible to everyone, and it isn’t always free. But it is a worthwhile method for building brands through by becoming a trustworthy source and creating loyal customers.

Seema Shariat is the Digital Marketing Analyst for the Imagemme New York City office.

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